To celebrate the importance of soils, The Cyprus Institute organized a mountain terrace rehabilitation workshop in Platanistasa community, on Saturday December 3rd. This is the 5th workshop in a series of public events that are co-organized in collaboration with the communities of Platanistasa, Alona and Polystipos in the Troodos Mountains.
Dry stone wall terraces are a long-held tradition of the Troodos Mountain communities and have enabled agricultural production on these steep slopes. However, the indigenous terrace maintenance know-how is slowly disappearing due to the gradual abandonment of mountain agriculture. The collapse of unmaintained terraces is damaging our environment and downstream infrastructure. For the past two years, dry-stone experts, local communities and scientists have joined forces to combat land degradation and pass this know-how to the next generation. More than 250 people of all ages and from all over Cyprus have joined the past five events.
The communal terrace rehabilitation approach was developed by The Cyprus Institute in the framework of the European RECARE project. RECARE is a scientific research initiative, which has gathered scientists from across Europe to find practical answers to protect and sustain healthy soils. From Iceland to Cyprus, research teams are testing solutions to urgent soil management problems. These solutions are devised by the scientists in cooperation with local farmers and land managers.
The terrace rehabilitation workshop in Platanistasa coincided with World Soil Day (5th of December), which celebrates the importance of soils in our daily lives. Many of the answers to global problems, such as food and water supply, flooding, energy and climate change, lie in the soil. The current rate of soil degradation threatens the capacity of future generations to meet their needs. We need to conserve soil to store clean water, preserve biodiversity, support food production and increase resilience. There is no life without soil. Recognizing that good land management is a prerequisite to economic and social wellbeing is a key to maintaining the life-supporting properties of healthy and productive soils.